Course WILL NOT count for major or minor credit in the Asian Language and Literatures department
This seminar will introduce students to a system of psychology that, after having been overshadowed by Freudian psychology in the 20th century, is finally coming into its own in the 21st. It will present basic principles and paradigms, and will engage students in a number of practical applications in the areas of the psychology of everyday life, the role of mythology in dreams and social life, religion, the analysis of films and literary texts, and self-analysis. In the area of the psychology of everyday life Jungian psychology has made a great contribution through its dynamic presentation and analysis of the shadow (the unconscious and repressed personality), the anima and animus (the repressed contrasexual personality), and typology (categories of psychological functioning). The idea of the Collective Unconscious is probably Jung’s greatest contribution to modern psychology. One way to get a good handle on the concept is to read Jung’s autobiography, in which he describes his “descent into the underworld” that eventually resulted in the creation of an archetypal, as opposed to ego-centered, school of psychology and psychotherapy. For Jung the ego is unconsciously dominated by factors that originate in the primeval depths of the human psychic constitution; the ego is literally not master of its own house. The function of religion is accordingly much valued by Jungian psychology, as opposed to many modern psychological schools, because religion can help maintain a balance between the ego and the Collective Unconscious. Jungian psychology also values the creative arts, and sees them as performing a remarkable role in the psychic life of the individual and society. Accordingly, we will be analyzing several narrative and film texts from a Jungian perspective: Toni Morrison’s Sula, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Jane Campion’s The Piano, and other texts and films chosen as the occasion arises. The textbook will be my own presentation of the Jungian system and its later developments, Jung and the Jungians on Myth: an Introduction (2002). We will also be studying Guggenbuhl-Craig’s The Emptied Soul and Jung’s autobiography Memories, Dreams, Reflections.
STEVEN F. WALKER, Professor of Comparative Literature, holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin (B.A. in classical Greek) and Harvard (M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature). He teaches in both the graduate and undergraduate programs in Comparative Literature, and he is a direct descendent (really!) of Henry Rutgers. He has been reading Jung voraciously since his undergraduate days.